Apple Notes productivity system organisation

File and find. Create a simple organisational system that stays out of the way and focuses on creating notes and finding notes instead of organising notes.

Apple Notes productivity system organisation
Photo by Joes Valentine / Unsplash

Many articles and videos cover all the basics, tips and advanced usage of the Apple productivity software - Mail, Calendar, Notes and Reminders. This guide does not describe the use of those apps. The devices, platforms, features and integrations are fixed, and that information can be found easily.

The variable part is implementing a systematic way to use the apps covered in this Apple productivity series.

Before getting into the specific guidance on How to organise Apple Notes, here are some frequently asked questions for Apple Notes;

How do I organise Apple Notes?

As you will find below, how do you organise Apple Notes? Create a simple organisational system that stays out of the way and focuses on creating and finding notes instead of organising notes.

How can I organise my Notes better?

Do you need to organise your notes better, or do you need to organise your notes less? I found the latter to be true. Once I made a decision and stopped being concerned about organising, my things seems organised and note-taking flowed.

Can I use Apple Notes as a journal?

Yes. Create a folder named "Journal", then create a new note. Type the date as a heading. Type an emoji for how you feel today on the first line. In the second line, write to express your gratitude for something particular that happened today. That is the simplest way to start.

How to organise Apple Notes

Knowing where to store notes is important, but writing text in notes is more important.

Reduce the barrier to writing a letter as much as possible.

Minimise the noise of an onerous organisational system. Apple Notes supports tags, and smart folders based on tags can automatically organise tagged notes. Plus, search is so good on computers and handheld devices that an organisation system is almost not even required.


I like to create a few complex organisational constructs to help my brain understand where my notes are. This system works for me; it might work for you too, or give you a starting point for your system.

These are the hard folders I use for notes that help anchor in my brain where my notes are on my device...

Organising Apple Notes with folders
Organising Apple Notes with folders

There are other folders that I call intelligent folders. So does Apple. These are folders in Apple Notes that I create and pull in notes that have specific tags. I only use these temporarily for particular purposes. They are not part of my regular concrete notes system. Below are descriptions of these folders.


This is where notes go when I send something to Apple Notes via the share sheet, and this is where I store written letters that are yet to be filed. This is also where Quick Notes land when I share a selection in Safari to a Quick N0te.


Any notes related to a current or upcoming project, my current areas of focus, or my "real work". If the project is completed, I file the folder into "Archive", which I hide in Resources—hidden but searchable.


Getting into the practice of journalling brings closure to the day and an opportunity to reflect and instil gratitude. Another option for this folder name could be Wellbeing and store other healthy routine information to make this an all-around well-being area of focus.


Do you have business or work, or side-hustle-related interests? I do. Some people like to keep business separate from life and create a work-life balance. I prefer a work-life integration and make time in my life to prioritise my life. Integrating my tasks, calendar, goals, projects, and notes makes it easier and more efficient by having just one system to understand, use and optimise. In my business folder, I keep files on employee matters, business information, meeting notes, some areas of focus notes and WIP matters.


I like to keep lists. Some of my hobbies involve collecting. Working on these lists and documents greatly pleasures me, so their existence here is essential.


This works as a general text note filing system. It includes a public archive, electronic receipt storage, notes on my health, reference material, and other practical information. There are some folders to organise, but generally, I am happy to search when I need something.